Letter: Hazelton is harmonious

Re: “A happy homecoming for Gitxsan hereditary chief,” May 25

To the editor;

Re: “A happy homecoming for Gitxsan hereditary chief,” May 25

It would be unfortunate if readers were left with a negative impression of Hazelton after reading the story about Gitxsan hereditary chief, Cliff Sampare, who as a high school student “…wasn’t open to believing aboriginal and non-aboriginal people could have relationships that were free of fear and prejudice.”

I believe he was referring mainly to his experience in the school system but I’d like to give my impression of the Hazelton community in general.

In the early 1980s my husband and I lived there and our experience was completely different from that of Mr. Sampare. Upon our arrival, the people – aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike – were welcoming and accepting.

During our time there we never experienced or witnessed discrimination or prejudice. My husband worked within the aboriginal community and was treated graciously and respectfully.

Hazelton remains the kindest community I have ever had the privilege of living in. We saw firsthand the harmony that existed between cultures and 30 years later, it is something we still reflect on and marvel at.

 

E. J. McKee